Archive for 2016

Will FED initiate a (mini)crisis?

By Independent Trader. Originally published at ValueWalk.

On paper, central banks are responsible for two things. They decide about the supply of currency and set interest rates. If the economy is healthy the velocity of money circulation grows higher creating inflation. Raising interest rates help to cool off the overheating economy. On the other hand, if the economy is heading for a recession central banks lower interest rates to make available to society credit cheaper and stimulate spending. This helps the economy get up from its knees. This is the theory.

Historically we see that central banks kept interest rates very low not to prevent economies from apathy but to create speculative bubbles and crashes that follow them. The control over economic cycles exercised with money supply and interest rates made it possible to transfer wealth out of the middle class to the financial sector.

Interest rates and the money supply were common tools to affect cycles until 2008 when after Lehman Brothers bankruptcy central banks panicked. The sheer scale of indebtedness on every level and vastly leveraged financial sector left the global monetary system crushed.

To avoid consequences of an uncontrolled crash, nearly every central bank on this planet lowered their interest rates to near zero levels. Just like they have done it in the past. This time was different. The fear over the financial system cohesion was and is so big that a rise in interest rates of more than 1% has not happened yet leaving markets addicted to ZIRP.

ZIRP and NIRP are here with us for 8 years already. Only one bank was brave enough to hike interest rates and it was the Federal Reserve of the US. American central bank was advertising their rate hike since mid-2014. Every quarter they found a new excuse of ‘changing circumstances’ not to do it. After a year of stalling the FED’s credibility was slowly disappearing because you can manipulate people for some time but not for long.

The first time, and the only one in the last 10 years, the FED raised interest rates by 0.25% saving remnants of their face. The result was twofold. During the year before the hike USD gained over 20% vis-à-vis other currencies. Investors waiting for any upward movement of the rate moved their capital into the dollar consequentially it was strengthened. Finally when the hike was…
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What We Know About Soon-To-Be Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson

Courtesy of Benzinga.

What We Know About Soon-To-Be Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson

A new star has risen to prominence on Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX)’s horizon and those who have seen it (rather him) emerge from under the shadows of the company’s celebrated founder Howard Schultz may be thirsting to know more about the new star.

Kevin Johnson, currently chief operating officer at the company, is set to take over the reins of the company on April 3, 2017. Analysts anticipate the transition to be smooth, as Johnson has been a board member for the past seven years and has been running the global business of the company alongside Schultz.

Benzinga has profiled Johnson, the CEO-designate, for our readers:

  • Appointed as president and COO of Starbucks in March 2015 after being a board member since 2009. In that capacity, he headed the company’s global operating businesses, across the Americas, EMEA and China/Asia Pacific, as well as the company’s supply chain, IT and mobile and digital platforms. Johnson took over from the then COO Troy Alstead, who wished to take a sabbatical to spend more time with family.
  • Johnson was appointed CEO of Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) in September 2008. The announcement of his retirement in July 2013 took everyone by surprise, as the company had thrived during his five-year tenure, capitalizing on huge spending by telecom companies. He officially relinquished the CEO position at Juniper in January 2014.
  • Prior to that, Johnson was employed at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) for 18 years in varied capacities. When he left the software giant, Johnson was leading the platforms and services division, where he was responsible for Windows and online services businesses. Before that, he served as group vice president of Microsoft’s worldwide sales, marketing and services and also oversaw corporate operations and IT functions that supported the work of Microsoft employees worldwide.
  • A noteworthy development when Johnson was at Microsoft was its failed attempt to buy Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) way back in 2008. In a memo explaining the botched deal, Johnson, who was helming Windows Live, said the failure to reach an accord regarding the price by the end of the April deadline had led to the

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Synergy’s Incoming FDA Catalyst

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Timothy Chiang of BTIG remains Buy-rated on Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: SGYP) ahead of the company’s Phase 3 data for plecanatide in patients with constipation predominant IBS. A release of top line results from its two pivotal Phase 3 IBS-C trials is expected before year end.

Plecanatide is being studied for gastro intestinal diseases chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C).

If positive, the analyst expects a sNDA filing in the first quarter of 2017. In addition, an FDA approval decision for plecanatide (for the treatment of chronic constipation) is expected by Jan. 29, 2017.

Chiang believes an approval for the CIC indication is likely, based on his review of Phase 3 data.

“We believe Synergy’s plecanatide (once-daily tablet for the treatment of CIC and IBS-C) has the potential to become a meaningful new product with sales potential in excess of $400M by 2020,” Chiang wrote in a note.

At last check, shares of Synergy rose 3.96 percent to $5.51. The analyst has a price target of $11, implying a potential upside of 100 percent from current levels.

Latest Ratings for SGYP

Date Firm Action From To
May 2016 Rodman & Renshaw Maintains Buy
Mar 2016 Rodman & Renshaw Maintains Buy
Mar 2016 Citigroup Maintains Neutral

View More Analyst Ratings for SGYP

View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: btig Timothy ChiangAnalyst Color Reiteration Analyst Ratings

The Trump Playbook: S&P 500 To 2,500 In 2017

Courtesy of Benzinga.

The Trump Playbook: S&P 500 To 2,500 In 2017

The S&P 500 (INDEXSP: .INX), which is currently around 2,200 and slightly off an all-time closing high of 2,213.35 reached in late November, has roughly 14 percent upside in 2017, according to RBC Capital Markets. The estimated gains look commendable as it is a meaty performance compared to a 8 percent gains recorded thus far this year and would come on top of a record run of 2016.

Brace For Double-Digit Gains In 2017

The firm’s analyst Jonathan Golub believes rising earnings and multiples will push equity returns into the double-digits from his previous baseline estimate of high-single-digits. Accordingly, Golub initiated a price target of 2,500, up 12.4 from its year-end 2016 target of 2,225.

Earnings Growth To Be Driver

RBC sees substantial upside potential, as the S&P 500 is up only 3 percent since Election Day. The firm believes profits will re-accelerate following two years of near zero-growth, as operating environment for financials and energy contributing to faster growth in 2017. Interest rate and inflation expectations have jumped over the past five months, the firm noted.

Estimated EPS growth (assuming 2-3 percent positive impact from Trump policies):

  • 2017: +7.6 percent.
  • 2018: +9.4 percent.

The Valuation

RBC Capital Markets clarified that its 2017 year-end target was based on 17.9 times its 2018 estimated earnings estimate, up from the 17.4 times multiple it had used for 2016. The firm believes multiples will advance more quickly than earnings over the near term.

Sectors Expected To Stand Out

Among the sectors faring well since the election are small caps and financials, which according to the firm are beneficiaries of the market rewarding low P/E stocks and those with higher price volatility as well as names with higher effective tax rates and more domestic business models. The firm is of the view that bond proxies and staples would remain under pressure. Economically sensitive groups such as energy, materials and industrials…
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Technical Alert: Under Armour Higher Off Deal With MLB

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • $31.15 – Thursday high
  • $30.59 – Intraday high as of 9:39 AM
  • $30.52 – Current price as of 9:39 AM
  • $30.15 – Intraday low as of 9:39 AM
  • $30.03 – Friday close

Posted-In: Technicals Intraday Update Movers Trading Ideas

Weekly Market Recap Dec 4, 2016

Courtesy of Blain.

The week that was…

The market needed a pause after the frenetic post election rally, and it finally arrived this week.  The pullback was mild as bulls would like.  This week’s “fear of the week” was Italy’s political referendum which happened today… and was rejected.

Italian voters were asked in a referendum to approve changes to the country’s constitution, which have been called the most sweeping since the end of World War II. The proposed reforms would cut the Senate’s size by two-thirds and reduce powers held by the country’s 20 regional governments. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi believes the changes will aid efficiency in parliament.

The reforms could also “make it easier to implement important legislation (such as measures to assist the country’s ailing banking sector) without the threat of a government collapse during periods of political disagreement,” said Peter Donisanu, global research assistant at Wells Fargo, in a note published Nov. 11.

So at times when the market needs to pull back a bit, it finds a reason; this was a pretty weak knee one but it is sufficient.

As I type this S&P futures are PLUNGING 0.3% on the “no” vote.  Hide the children.


(only our older readers will understand the gif above)

The other main story was OPEC which finally agreed Tuesday to a cut in production…. on paper.  If any of their members actually follow through in reality and don’t try to cheat – who knows.

OPEC has agreed to cut daily production by 1.2 million barrels a day to 32.5 million.  The cut will come into effect in January. OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia will tak thee biggest output reduction at about 486,000 barrels a day, according to Al-Sada.   On top of the 1.2 million-barrels-a-day OPEC cut, key non-OPEC producers have agreed to scale back their production by 600,000 barrels a day, with Russia taking on half of that cut.

Impressive, 1.2M barrels!??!  Pssst come closer, I’ll tell you a secret….. that is 1% of global production.

Economic data was largely positive this past week.  Monday, the second reading of gross domestic product showed the economy…
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Fake News Meme Going Viral

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

You’ve gotta give them credit.  The plot, the plan, the conspiracy – it’s really well thought out, well funded – well executed.  Bravo!  It’s like a well planned ballet.  In ballet, to acheive excellence, complete cooperation and syncrhonicity is required.  Look what I found in my Twitter today from some Big Lebowski zombie:

FAKE NEWS @Twitter

— Ross Sclafani (@RossSclafani) December 4, 2016

The ‘fake news’ in question was from a Zero Hedge article “Why the Elite Hate Russia” that was written by Global Intel Hub during the election, in order to counterbalance some of the “Russian Propaganda” coming from the CIA/Illuminati basement in rural Virginia (you know the location).  

They are moving so quickly to put the genie back in the bottle it’s alarming.  The DOD originally created the internet initially for legitimate military purposes (secure communication) and as an aside wireless technology was developed during world war 2 and actively used in combat (field phones).  Anyway once the internet was ‘released’ it clearly was a mistake, but not something they could stop.  Even a Rockefeller himself admitted ‘it would be better if the internet didn’t exist:’ 

First things first, read this article by a New Yorker reporter who seems to be a mainstream journalist that has actually investigated Russian Propaganda as it exists in the ‘real’ world, not as created by Rockefellers in USA in a Hollywood Studio:

I can report that the spokesman was an American man, probably in his thirties or forties, who was well versed in Internet culture and swore enthusiastically. He said that the group numbered about forty people. “I can say we have people who work for major tech companies and people who have worked for the government in different regards, but we’re all acting in a private capacity,” he said. “One thing we’re all in agreement about is that Russia should not be able to fuck with the American people. That is not cool.” The spokesman said that the group began with fewer than a dozen members, who came together while following Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine. The crisis was accompanied by a flood of disinformation designed to confuse Ukraine and its allies. “That was a

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News You Can Use From Phil’s Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Renzi Resigns Following Crushing Referendum Defeat: Beppe Grillo, Marine le Pen, Matteo Salvina Tweets (MishTalk)

Italian prime minster Matteo Renzi went down in flames in a crushing defeat of a referendum he sponsored.

Sergio Mattarella, Italy’s president, has a choice. President is largely a symbolic position but what happens next is up to Mattarella.

The president may ask Renzi to hang on in a caretaker role, there could be snap elections, there could be a fourth technocrat government. Renzi was the third consecutive appointed technocrat prime minister.

Vancouver Housing Tax Pushes Chinese to $1 Million Seattle Homes (Bloomberg)

Just a few days after Vancouver announced a tax on foreign property investors, Seattle real estate broker Lili Shang received a WeChat message from a wealthy Chinese businessman who wanted to sell a home in Canada and buy in her area.

Euro Slips With Asian Stocks While Bonds Rise as Italy Votes No (Bloomberg)

The euro retreated with riskier assets, while bonds advanced, amid concern the failure of Italy’s referendum on constitutional reform will destabilize the country, emboldening anti-Europe and nationalist forces.

South African Economic Recovery Key to Ward Off Junk Rating Risk (Bloomberg)

South Africa’s chances of repeating its escape from a junk credit rating in 2017 are in the balance as focus intensifies on tepid economic growth and simmering political tensions.

A hot new hedge fund just had a monster month (Business Insider)

A hot new hedge fund had a great November.

Trump's plan to rethink free trade agreements could have a silver lining for the environment (Business Insider)

President-elect Donald Trump has placed himself in staunch opposition to environmentalists by denying climate change and threatening to dismantle the EPA. But there’s one area in which the two sides agree: both oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Here's what Wall Street's top performers expect from their bonuses this year (Business Insider)

Fixed income, currencies, and commodities traders are back in the ascendancy on Wall Street.

The FICC business is expected to

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Is The US Government Behind The Fake News Media Attacks On President-Elect Trump?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

Eric Zuesse has brought to our attention that US intelligence officials have placed a story in Buzzfeed, “a Democratic party mouthpiece,” that the Russian government used fake news to get Donald Trump elected president.
According to Buzzfeed:

“US intelligence officials believe Russia helped disseminate fake and propagandized news as part of a broader effort to influence and undermine the presidential election, two US intelligence sources told BuzzFeed News.

‘They’re doing this continuously, that’s a known fact,’ one US intelligence official said, requesting anonymity to discuss the sensitive national security issue.

‘This is beyond propaganda, that’s my understanding,’ the second US intelligence official said. The official said they believed those efforts likely included the dissemination of completely fake news stories. …

One intelligence official said, ‘In the context, did Russia attempt to influence the US elections; the aperture is as wide as it can possibly be.’” ‘The real unanswered question is, why did they do it?’ the second US intelligence official said. ‘Is it because they love Donald Trump? Because they hated Hillary Clinton? Or just because they like undermining Western democracies?’”

Who are these US intelligence officials who are portraying the president-elect of the United States to be a “Putin stooge, a tool of Russia”? Once in office, Trump must investigate these hostile elements in US intelligence who are working to discredit the US president and the American people who voted him into office.

As one reader pointed out, those who debunk “conspiracy theories,” that is, explanations that they do not like, now have a conspiracy theory of their own: Vladimir Putin used independent American websites to elect Trump with fake news. Only voters living in a few large coastal cities were immune to the fake news.

In other words, the presstitute media has lost control over Americans’ minds to Putin.

With an opponent this powerful, neoconservatives better think a dozen times before fomenting any more tension with the Kremlin.

Open the link above to Zeusse’s column and look at the cover of Time magazine. This cover delegitimizes the presidential election. Which US intelligence agency planted this cover on Time? President Trump must have the Secret Service investigate this attack from inside the US government on the US President. Congress, both House

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EU Demands Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft Cede to Their Anti-Hate Speech Laws

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

There’s so much hate out there. The EU has decided they’re going to do something about it, god damn it. All of the damned, fucking, voters running astray this year must have the autocrats going apeshit trying to figure out ways to suppress populism. As such, the EU is demanding that US tech giants comply with their demands to curtail ‘hate speech’ else be literally forced to do so — according to law. The laws are designed to protect migrants streaming into the EU, raping and pillaging along the way.

Europeans, you must comply.

source: Reuters

The code of conduct is largely a continuation of efforts that the companies already take to counter hate speech on their websites, such as developing tools for people to report hateful content and training staff to handle such requests.

EU justice ministers will meet in Brussels to discuss the report on Thursday. They are also expected to ask the companies to clarify issues including taking down “terrorist propaganda” and helping provide evidence to convict foreign fighters.


Zero Hedge

World Trade War I: US Asks South Korea To Join Anti-Huawei Campaign

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The bilateral trade war between the US and China is gradually becoming a global trade war of global geopolitical and commercial dominance between the US and Chinese spheres of influence.

Shortly after the two largest mobile phone companies in the UK decided against launching Huawei-built 5G phones this morning, and roughly around the time a bevy of Japanese tech and telecom companies including ARM Holdings, Panasonic and SoftBank all imposed a boycott on supplying Huawei with mission critical components joining Australia, and New Zealand as major US allies to end commercial relat...

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Phil's Favorites

Overpriced tech IPOs sell grand visions but aren't worth their valuations


Overpriced tech IPOs sell grand visions but aren't worth their valuations

rblfmr /

Courtesy of John Colley, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

The year of the tech IPO is 2019. Uber went public on May 10 with a US$82.4 billion valuation. Fellow ride-sharing app Lyft floated in March with a U$24 billion valuation and Pinterest had a US$10 billion IPO in April...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Emerging Markets About To Submerge If 3-Year Support Breaks?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Are Emerging Markets about to “Submerge” and head a good deal lower? What they do at (3) will go a long way in answering this question!

Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) has been lagging the broad market for the past 15-months. They hit their 50% retracement level of the last year’s highs and lows and falling resistance at (2) recently. The weakness of last has EEM trading below its 200-MA line.

EEM has spent the majority of the past 3-years inside of rising channel (1), which reflects that this trend remains up. The weakness of late has it testing the bo...

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Insider Scoop

Amgen To Buy Danish Collaborator Nuevolution For $167M

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) took a logical step forward in buying a preclinical biotech it has been collaborating with since 2016. 

What Happened

Amgen announced Wednesday an agreement to buy Copenhagen-based Nuevolution for $167 million.

Th... more from Insider

Chart School

Weekly Market Recap May 18, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

China – U.S. trade talk continued to dominate the week.   A heavy selloff Monday was followed by 3 up days, with Friday moderately down.

On Monday, Chinese officials announced retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., hitting $60 billion in annual exports to China with new or expanded duties that could reach 25%.

Then on Wednesday:

The Trump administration plans to delay a decision on instituting new tariffs on car and auto part imports for up to six months, according to media reports.


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Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream - the battle is on to bring them under global control


Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream – the battle is on to bring them under global control

The high seas are getting lower. dianemeise

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

The 21st-century revolutionaries who have dominated cryptocurrencies are having to move over. Mainstream financial institutions are adopting these assets and the blockchain technology that enables them, in what ...

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DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

A map of DNA with the double helix colored blue, the landmarks in green, and the start points for copying the molecule in red. David Gilbert/Kyle Klein, CC BY-ND

Courtesy of David M. Gilbert, Florida State University


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More Examples Of "Typical Tesla "wise-guy scamminess"

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Stanphyl Capital’s letter to investors for the month of March 2019.

rawpixel / Pixabay

Friends and Fellow Investors:

For March 2019 the fund was up approximately 5.5% net of all fees and expenses. By way of comparison, the S&P 500 was up approximately 1.9% while the Russell 2000 was down approximately 2.1%. Year-to-date 2019 the fund is up approximately 12.8% while the S&P 500 is up approximately 13.6% and the ...

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...

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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism


The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"



Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:


·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union


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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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